A shift in perspective

Well, I thought it best to open up a thread to track this journey of mine for the coming weeks and months.

I’m just a couple days into a 2 week fast, and trying to settle into the commitment. The longest fast I have done previously is 6 days, and I’ve occasionally done 48-72 hour fasts. I do fear the lack of energy that an extended fast entails, and know that when I’m feeling fatigued it will be challenging for me to hold to this commitment. BUT, I am ready to make some changes both internally and externally, and know that breaking from the status quo is almost always uncomfortable.

I do have a long term vision over the summer months, one that focuses on shorter fasts and slowly reworking my relationship with food-- recognizing it as something that will take some time to mentally rewire, and one in which consistency is more important than singular push efforts. So this 2 week fast will be the kick-off to a longer, consistent effort that sees me feeling healthy around my body and eating come August. Fingers crossed!

My energy thus far is just fine, and I don’t feel hungry. Any advice for how to maintain commitment when the energy tanks? To the extended fasters out there, do you push through these lows and find energy again?


@Jewell I think your plan is sound and well thought out. You can do this! Regarding the energy question…I am at my farthest reaches as I write this… 6 Days. My energy is suffering somewhat right now…so unfortunately I’m not an authority. I am going to move a bit and lift some weights, a sauna then a cold shower. :sweat_smile: I know its crazy and a lot but I’ll let you know how it goes! Good luck!

Hi Jewell,
Glad you are getting into a new commitment for yourself!
I have done a 7-day water fast, and it was about 8 years ago. There was so little information out there then, but since then, I have found some really great tricks that help people deal with fatigue and other symptoms associated with electrolyte imbalance. One is to add himalayan salt to your water. Even a teaspoon to a gallon of water is okay. It helps a lot. The other thing is 1tbl or so of apple cider vinegar, or some lemon slices to your water. The other thing is there are electrolyte powders that are calories free (sweetened with stevia, etc) that can help maintain your balance and energy, I also drink a lot of green tea and Bojenmi tea (which tastes like dirt) and those help me with energy. I get that all of these things go against a strict water fasting regimen, but Dr. Jason Fung and many successful fasters have used these tricks to complete the fast. I feel like if it helps you complete it, but maybe isn’t perfect, it is still worthwhile. They do not kick you out of ketosis or autophagy, so the goal, for me, can still be accomplished.

Hey! Yes, just take a deep breath, remind yourself of your list of why you are doing the fasting, and eventually the body submits and realizes your mind is made up to carry through with the commitment and out of no where you may start getting some wicked energy bursts.

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Thanks for the great advice, @Justin, @tohike123, and @Miramar! I really appreciate the perspective.

I held on to fasting until Friday afternoon, when stressful work situations allowed me to justify renegotiating my fasting plans and eating. I kept intending to jump back into fasting each day of the weekend, but each day I ate. I understand the renegotiation: I was juggling some stressful work deadlines, watching two puppies (which was utter mayhem), was negotiating plans for moving in the near future, and potentially buying a new vehicle so doing a lot of budget number crunching and research. But I think the real element here to examine is my mental state: I am juggling a lot, I lack willpower, and for the past several months every time I plan a fast longer than 3 days, I end up breaking before reaching my goal and then eating emotionally (in response to the anticipated scarcity for the next fast). It’s a far cry from reconnecting to my body and reestablishing a healthy relationship with both my body and food, and so I think I need to reassess and renegotiate the terms.

The benefits of fasting for our physical and mental health is impossible to ignore, and I know that I could use it right now for the changes I’d like to make for my health and well-being. But for whatever reason, extended fasting seems to elicit a limbic response that hinders more than helps me, and more than anything challenges my self-worth and self-trust.

So I’m getting back on my feet, dusting off my scraped knees, and renegotiating the plan to one with which I have a better chance at success. ADF for the summer months, at least through Aug 1 (with a break for my travel plans in mid June). I’ll reassess at the beginning of August. Exercise, yoga, and meditation will be regular practices. And the real focus here needs to be on believing that, with these consistent practices, I can change my mind (hormones, hedonic set point, willpower, etc.) over time. And I can choose to embrace that those changes can take place slowly and organically, instead of suddenly as I might wish. :upside_down_face:

Wish me luck!


@Jewell, your approach and level of self-awareness seems perfectly aligned with your goals. I’m impressed. I certainly don’t know much in this space but I have learned that there are more trees in this forest than I expected. Willpower is relatively insignificant compared to the other luggage that all the sudden comes out of the closet. You got this! Good luck!

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Hi Jewell,
I so hear you loud and clear, and am delighted to hear what you have expressed in your self awareness. You did achieve a lot already! I hear that I am not alone in my frustrations around goals, and it is good for us all to realize that we have these struggles. I love that you talked about the limbic system! Isn’t it amazing?! How we self-regulate is a whole big thing. Certainly being able to commune with others is helpful. In the end, we all must listen to our own bodies, and be forgiving and kind to ourselves. I am glad I am not the only one who suffers from struggles that seem to derail us, but really are just part of life, and hearing someone else talk about it helps me to not feel so alone. Time to take a break and time to keep trying and keep going. And of course, that is why we are all here, chatting about it. Thank you!
I am currently in CA saying goodbye to my uncle who has terminal, metastasized cancer, and I am reveling in the immediacy of death, and how much time we think we have vs how little we may have. It is so important to do what feels best in each moment. To be grounded and still once or twice a day. And, I do believe in having a fasting maintenance schedule to progressively deal with toxins day in and day out. Intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting, OMAD, extended fasting. They all hold special purposes. May we all be able to show up for what is the best thing for us right now. Because that is all we can really give energy to. Right now.

Thanks so much @Justin, I appreciate the support! It is interesting to recognize that our well-being is nuanced and multi-layered. Finding the most sustainable way to lasting health is the goal, but it doesn’t always line up with the timeframes I have in mind. :slight_smile:

How are you feeling these days? You’re several days in now; I hope your back pain has resolved.

Thank you so much for sharing, @tohike123. I am thinking of you as you are saying goodbye to your Uncle. Life is sweet and very fleeting; I’m glad you get to say goodbye to him, and hope that the farewell is peaceful and loving for all present. My boyfriend of 8 years passed away a few years ago (he was 33 at the time). Losing him also instilled in me the awareness of how fragile and special life is, and though I don’t always manage to do so, I try to live each moment with an open heart. Sending you all the best. :heart:

I’m feeling pretty good today; this ADF plan feels like the right fit for me. It’s a significant change, but one that I can sustain and not drop everything else off like work, getting my puppy out on trail, and enjoying the company of people around me.

It’s a busy time; I’ve got a conference next week that I’m preparing for, and I leave for a 10-day meditation retreat next week as well. Trying to get all of the things done! I’m excited for the meditation retreat, but am intimidated as well. 10 silent days, alone with my mind! :laughing:


Back from travels. Taking the deep dive back into work, but feeling more clear and grounded than I have in a long time, which is great.

I’m postponing my ADF plan and starting with an extended water fast first-- I think (I hope) I have the mental determination for it now. My goal is 12 days, I’m on day 2. Feeling great thus far, plenty of energy, so I’m soaking that up for now. :slight_smile: Went for a mountain bike ride this morning before things got hot-- such a fun way to start the day!

I think a major turning point for me will be 3-4 days in, which is typically when my energy levels really plummet and I begin to try to negotiate my way out of my goal. Fingers crossed I can stay the course this time.

Been doing some fun reading on the effects of fasting on the brain. Though I’m personally reflecting more on conscious rewiring and habit forming, I came across a fun paper on nih.gov-- “Fasting induces an altered metabolic state that optimizes neuron bioenergetics, plasticity, and resilience in a way that may counteract a broad array of neurological disorders.” Sometimes it’s great to be reminded of just how plastic and adaptable we are, and how relatively small commitments-- 12 days is a very short period of time-- might catalyze big changes over time that support our health and well-being.

Start to day 3! Feeling pretty good this morning, which is nice because I had my first crash last night. :upside_down_face: I went to bed feeling hungry and weak, and woke up at 1am worrying about this recent work project and whether I’d made the right decisions while working on it last week. It’s funny that physical and emotional detoxing both take place with fasting, and I’m not sure which is more challenging. At any rate, I sort of recognized what was going on (or at least chose to believe that my worry and self-doubt were emotional detoxing related to the fast), and though I was up for several hours I stayed the course and eventually fell back asleep for a few hours.

I did get out for a hike with my puppy early this morning, which was a really nice way to start the day. At the end of today, I’ll be 25% done with my initial fasting goal— it’s nice to make it past the first 1-2 days! I know my resolution will continue to be tested, but the more days I have under my belt, the more committed I think I’ll feel. I gotta say, the fasting stickies are a great idea— it’s pretty satisfying to rip one off the wall at the end of the day, and I’m also setting up mini-rewards for hitting interim goals. I bought new, wider tires for my mountain bike, and to celebrate 3 days done I’m going to install them on my bike today for a ride tomorrow morning. Psyched.

Dan Sullivan quote today: ‘Personal confidence comes from making progress towards goals that are far bigger than your current capabilities.’

Back to Day 1! A combination of heat exhaustion, glycogen depletion, and female hormones led me to decide to break my fast over the weekend. Felt nice to eat, but I must say I’m a little bummed not to be nearing completion of week 1. On the other hand, I now feel even more motivated to commit to an extended fast! So, when failure motivates commitment, I guess it can be a blessing.

I’ve got my stickies set, and am ready to dive back in.

Close to finishing Day 2, and feeling good so far. Since my glycogen was recently replenished, I have stable energy and am experiencing only brief feelings of hunger. Was definitely feeling slower on the mountain bike this morning, but still had enough oomph for the hills.

Trying to amp up my commitment to coast through the tough days (maybe days 3-6?) and push through to the other side. Perhaps on those days I can not push myself to exercise and instead plan on plenty of rest. I’m glad those days line up with the weekend, so I can adjust my expectations for work productivity (although work can be a nice distraction :slight_smile: ).

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Ooook and back again!

My goodness this is a doozy. It’s amazing how fasting can develop self discipline, and also amazing how falling off of the wagon fasting can teach you so much about yourself!

So far in July, I’ve had several false starts with fasting. It’s difficult to move through those, to be kind to myself, to dust my knees off and start again— but here I am! I really know that a change is necessary and it’s also possible. So, starting with day 1 again. Here we go!

Grateful today for exercise, grateful that we are not yet on fire like much of the west is, and grateful for forums like these where we can share our aspirations, triumphs and failures.

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Hi @Jewell, I am also on day 1, had a lot of failures this past few months, can’t seem to get back on track.

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Oh my goodness, @Overcomer, I feel you! It’s been really tough to dust my knees off each time I don’t follow through on a goal. It takes a lot of forgiveness, self-inquiry, committing, and recommitting. But if we don’t keep trying, we will definitely not succeed! Nice job getting back to it— knowing you are committed helps me to maintain commitment too. Keep me posted with how you’re doing?

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You are right @Jewell, try, try we must. We will succeed if we don’t give up. :muscle:t5:

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Number of hours fasted: 26
Number of times I almost bailed on fasting: maybe 26? :grin:

Many thanks to my my accountability buddy for talking me off the ledge more than once today! Glad to be past Day 1, surely it gets easier a few days in?? :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

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About 5 hours away now from finishing day 2! Feeling pretty good today. I haven’t exercised, but I feel alright about it-- a lot going on between work pressures and helping family get ready to move. I did a salt water flush this morning, which was pretty intense but I hope gives me a boost through this detox period.

Feeling more stable with my energy, less hungry, and more excited as I generate some momentum towards my goal. I know it’s a long road and I’m just barely getting started, but even a little progress is something worth celebrating imho. :grin: We’ll see how I feel when this evening rolls around-- when work wraps up for the day, I often feel like quitting and eating! Especially right now when I need to rally and work on home projects with my parents. But, staying strong for now, and for that I feel grateful.

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